Education

Students removed from campuses over threats of violence at South Mississippi schools

At least 10 South Mississippi schools have confirmed investigating threats of violence on campus.

In the most recent complaints, administrators removed a 5th-grade student from campus and police arrested a 15-year-old student.

The latest four threats involved Bayou View Elementary School in Gulfport, North Gulfport Middle School, Hancock Middle School and the George County and Stone County school districts.

The possible threats came within a week of a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14. Sixteen students and a coach were shot to death Feb. 14 with an AR-15, reportedly by a former student who had been expelled.

Bayou View removed a 5th grade student from school Monday after investigating a threat, according to a post Tuesday on the school’s Facebook.

“We have investigated this incident, have spoken to the parents, and have disciplined the student,” the post said.

At Hancock Middle School, a recorded message was issued Thursday morning to parents saying there had been a threat made against the school. According to the Sea Coast Echo, the student responsible was taken into custody when they arrived at school. No gun was found. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident.

North Gulfport Middle School confirmed a threat had been investigated, making the announcement on its Facebook page Wednesday night. That threat didn’t pose a danger.

The Gulfport Police Department has school resources on all campuses in the city, and they were involved in the investigations, Police Sgt. Clayton Fulks said.

The threats at Gulfport schools “came from word of mouth,” Fulks said.

A 15-year-old student in Stone County was taken into custody on a cyberstalking charge Thursday after posting a threatening message on Facebook, officials said. The post appeared earlier Thursday. The Stone County School District confirmed the threat on its Facebook.

That district also said it has increased safety precautions.

The George County School District has issued a news release saying it was aware of “recent media posts regarding threats.” The school district said it is investigating the threats and is putting additional precautions in place.

In recent investigations, Long Beach police arrested two 17-year-old students accused of making threats.

School officials across the region are encouraging students to speak up if they hear of or see a threat.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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